Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Taking In A Stray Cat
Fat stray cat - Lontra - not all strays have it tough! Although she might be ill. - Photo by * starrynight1
Taking in a stray cat is the easiest thing in the world provided you don't have any other cats. In fact, there are stray cats pretty much everywhere. Wherever I have lived I think I have bumped into stray cats particularly so in London where people live close together. I have never purchased a cat, they usually come to me and stay.
Often you don't actually have to take in a stray cat as the cat will just walk in, take some food, do it again and then stay a while one day (provided we are pleasant to the cat). And voila we are on track to take him in. A word of caution, of course, as there are also a lot of cats that time share or visit and do overnight stays like children. We have to make sure that we are not teasing a cat away from the "owners" (keepers). That said, if a cat persists in coming to us there is possibly something not quite right about the place where he or she is coming from.
There can be some decisions to make, I think, once he has stayed, however. One problem I have with Timmy who stays with me is that I think he is "whole" or not neutered. I think this because he has b*ll* and he has a jowly masculine face. He doesn't spray urine though, thank God. Do I have the responsibility to have him neutered? On one level, I do. I need to protect the stray female cats in the district if there are some that are not spayed from getting pregnant (see Cat Pregnancy). There are too many feral cats ( feeding feral cats) around, who live tough lives that are too short with euthanasia as the end game.
On the other hand he is not my whole responsibility as he visits and stays a lot. I am convinced he is a stray though (i.e. has no owner). If I think that, I should take him to the vet to be checked out. He just may be neutered but I don't think so. So taking in a stray cat is easy with complications. If we have cats (I have one previous stray cat who is now "my cat") there can be problems with the introduction (Introducing a New Cat). Once that has been got over and it almost always will be in due course then a check up by the veterinarian is in order as we just don't know what a stray cat's health it like and we owe it to the cat to ensure all is well. That is the other complication - expenses. Vets aren't cheap and some people don't, it seems, factor in the cost of keeping a cat over the lifetime of the cat - about £10,000 for a cat that lives for 14 years (See Pet Care Costs).
I can't think of anything major over and above what I have mentioned. One last think. In taking in a stray cat we are doing a public service and probably saving a life as a lot of feral cats that are "rescued" end up being euthanized as there are not enough homes (see No Kill Cat Shelters). That said, one person thinks completely the opposite.
Taking In A Stray Cat to Stray Cat Picture